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Thread: Hill Speed

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    California
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    15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katie0817 View Post
    Tiffany - great job on the hill climbing. I know how it feels trying to stay upright at 3 - 4 mph!
    Thanks Katie!

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    4
    Hey Red - I'll try this on my next ride tomorrow. I hadn't thought of that before. I figured as long as I am getting air in, i'm cool lol. Thanks for the tip. I try pretty hard to loosen up and not stay tense. Usually if I feel my muscles tense I correct it pretty quick. Can't say that I am smiling though. I'll have to work on that one!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Soquel, CA
    Posts
    193
    Hills - that's where I usually get dropped on group rides. We have some really big ones - can go up to 15%. I have noticed that the club riders who pass me are either spinning faster than my bike allows, or they are standing (which I also do not do). So, today I bought a new 10-speed cassette with 11-36 and a mountain bike rear derailleur and it is being installed on my Ruby compact double.

    I read in a cycling book that your cadence should not fall below 40 or you are pushing too hard. My bike computer has a cadence monitor and when I was going up the 15% hill (at least I wasn't walking this time), my cadence was about 30-35 (about 3 mph).

    I also did a test ride. I rode my Ruby compact up the hill and then I rode my Bike Friday up the same hill. Bike Friday has lower gears. It was easier to get up on the Bike Friday - and I actually made it up faster.

    The other thing that has been helping me is doing intervals on my bike trainer. There are two kinds. Easy gear alternating with fast easy gear, and easy gear alternating with hard gear. Now the 6% hills are easy. The new low gear I will be getting is only for the desperately long, unrelenting, steep hills, and there is at least one or two in every ride. I hope this works as my goal for the last 3 years (that's when I started riding) has been to keep up on the 'B' group rides. I am doing better. Most of the time, I can see the people in the distance, and today I actually arrived at the same time.
    2007 Ruby Comp/Specialized Dolce
    2004 Bike Friday Crusoe/Specialized Dolce

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    pacific northwest
    Posts
    250
    I'm not fast going uphill,I hate hills. I know doing them will make me a stonger rider. I'm not a skinny chick so even though I go fast on flats hills are tough. I do some yoga breathing when I do hills and that helps me relax and make it easier. Last year my husband(who is a champion hillclimber) taught me to not be afraid of the big hills ,breathe,and just keep spinning,no matter how slow. Red Hoodie I seem to remember you posted a link last year on a hillclimbing post that was great.
    I like bikes, sometimes more than my husband

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    West Tennessee & Ashe Cty NC
    Posts
    21
    I am moving for the summer to the mtns of western NC, and hope to cycle some. I currently live in W TN where everyting is pretty much flat. I was looking for this article you sent sometime back on hill climbing technique and shifting (i presume) and the web location is not available any longer. You wouldn't happen to have a more current web address for the article would you?
    It is a good day when you wake up - better if the sun is shining!

    2015 Specialized Vita Elite Carbon disc 18 speed
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    1985 Raleigh Marathon 12 speed is history as of 2017

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487
    If I don't have to walk up then I say !!!YAY!!! Who cares about the speed!
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Quote Originally Posted by kajero View Post
    If I don't have to walk up then I say !!!YAY!!! Who cares about the speed!
    This is me! I was going 5 mph on a tough hill today in one of my easiest granny gears. But I made it.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    The only person I impress when I make it up a tough hill at my age is me. Experience is the best teacher, though. Knowing how to judge a hill and use your gears and so on is a big plus.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    I pride myself on being to get up any hill. I don't care how slow I go. I did a 10 mile climb in Spain, at about 3-5 mph.
    Only 2 hills have defeated me in the 15 years I have been cycling. Both were in the Berkshires, involving roads I had no idea of, in terms of how long and how steep. When I think of it, one was a ride recommended by our innkeeper and the other was one one a friend got from Ride With GPS, but he didn't really pay attention to the grades. Both had long, long climbs with 15-20% grades for parts. The first one, my DH dropped me and when I saw my friend walking, mentally I was done. We got to the top, got on our bikes, to find there was another long and steep climb, with another summit. I did that part. For me it's a lot psychological. If DH stays with me and talks me through it, I do a lot better. At times, I can do the self talk (I did this on another road in the Berkshires that was just painful). I am not sure how I would do in the west, where climbs are long and not quite as steep. Most of what I do are short and steep.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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  10. #40
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    There have been some road hills that have defeated me, but as long as I have time to evaluate the hill and work the gears the way I need to get the job done, I'm usually okay. Not always, but not bad for an old gal.

    It's mostly the off trail MTB hills that get me because they often appear so suddenly and unexpectedly, giving me no time to work into them. That, or I have to slow down to make sharp turns just prior to tackling the hill. That's when my leg strength just doesn't cut it, especially when I'm trying to keep up with the guys. They just power up over these sharp hills with me stalling out and falling behind. Kind of embarrassing. I love mountain biking, I really do, but I always come up short on the strength needed to do some of the gnarly technical stuff like bunny hopping, log crossing and so on. Anyone else in this boat or is it just me being a wuss?
    Last edited by north woods gal; 06-18-2016 at 05:36 PM.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    I am exactly like you in this regard, and basically it is why I sold my very nice mountain bike about 5 years ago. I knew I could never bunny hop or get over a big log, and I often ended up walking a lot. Part of it was skill and part was just being a wuss. I am not weak compared to other 62 year olds, but for the life of me, I could not figure out how to do this stuff and stay upright. I love being in the woods, so it was sad. I am getting a bit interested in gravel road riding (would have to travel for this) or even to ride some tamer trails, but that would require a new bike now. I may be getting a fat bike in the fall, so that would make me feel secure, although I would need something else for gravel riding.
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  12. #42
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    Crankin, you can do very well on gravel roads with a road/touring/cross bike with 700x35 or 700x40 tires. You don't have to go MTB, again, unless you plan to do some very rough gravel roads. 700x35 or 40 is the typical tire width for gravel road racing bikes. I have such a bike in a Salsa Warbird that came with 700x35 tires and, to be honest, it takes a really deep sand or gravel trap to stop it. It will handle any of the gravel roads in our area that my larger tire bikes will do. Just need to be a bit more selective about picking a trail though the gravel.

    Where the 700x35 drop bar bike shines, though, is as a pavement of any kind bike. I used a cyclocross bike with 700x35 tires for most of my commuting in my Chicago biking days, even for some riding in the snow. Those bigger tires did a much better job of handling some of those nasty Chicago streets than my 700x25 standard road bike.

    As far as average speed on pavement, there is really very little difference between my Domane 700x25 and my Warbird 700x35. I like the option of taking a gravel road, now and then, so I ride the Warbird more than the Domane, plus the bigger 700x35 tires don't hurt as much with those darn road cracks.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 06-19-2016 at 08:33 AM.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    As for the fat bike, there is no such thing as a gravel road that will stop one. You can definitely do gravel with a fat bike and do it in great comfort. I do it all the time. I actually ride my fat bike all year long, even out on pavement, though mostly on the unpaved shoulder along the pavement. (Definitely get some looks from motorists. ) Those big lugged fat bike tires for snow or off trail riding will drive you nuts on a paved surface, though, and they sound like a tractor. The good news is that there are fat bike tires with shallower, less aggressive tread and I may opt for these for my summer fat bike riding. Would be ideal for gravel riding. Some of our local fat bike riders actually prefer these shallower tread tires for riding in the sand because they don't dig down in the sand as much as the heavy tread tires.

    For sure, fat bikes are much more than bikes for riding in the snow. The only drawback for me is that these aren't really a good choice for doing a lot of miles at a decent speed. Ten miles on a fat bike is a real workout compared to a road bike.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    Yes, I agree with it all. I would really like a road/cross bike with wider tires AND a fat bike for snow and/or other stuff. It's not going to happen now, but probably within the next year.
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    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    40
    I'd second the advice about breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. I have my very first sportive this weekend, 35 miles over a hilly route and have joined a women's cycle club to learn the best way to tackle the 2700ft of elevation I'll face. I was told about the breathing thing, also sit well back in your saddle, it puts more power through your legs. Relax, use your mantra and a low gear and spin up the hill in your own sweet time. It works.... it's improved my climbing and I'm finding the more I do it the faster I get, almost without trying. I live in a hilly area and its great to face a hill and not be thinking ' OMG I'll never get up that'
    Although there are a few steep 15-25% stinkers that await the time when I'm even stronger and can tackle them with confidence. Good luck!

 

 

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